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Objective:  To correctly place rational numbers (fractions or decimals, both positive and negative) on a number line
Prior Knowledge: Ordering rational numbers.
Time Required: 15 minutes for set-up, 15 minutes for class activity.
Materials Needed:
  • Clothesline
  • Index cards
  • Clothes pins, paper clips, or tape

  1. Prepare index cards with various fractions (or decimals), improper fractions, and mixed numbers (both positive and negative).  Each card should only have one number printed on it.
  2. String the clothesline across the room, having  – 1, 0, and 1 already placed on the line, allowing enough space for the children to attach their cards between the numbers.
  3. As the students walk into the room, hand them an index card and a clothespin.  Tell them to clip their index card in the correct place on the clothesline.
  4. After the class is finished and seated, have a class discussion on the accuracy of the placement of the cards and make any necessary corrections.

C Adams

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